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Dwayne, thank you for the very thorough thoughts. Appreciated.

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sns2:
Good afternoon to you sir, thanks for the reply.

You're welcome and thanks for reading my usual non to brief posts.

Perhaps the knife preference too might be somewhat related to the size of the individual using it?

That's a guess on my part since I've only used the medium sized hands that came with my smaller sized body, but it might be a factor?

Years back I started to wrap my head around the thought that for instance how a particular hunting boot worked for an individual had a fair bit to do with the size of the boot and weight of the person wearing it. I had some Prospectors made in Winnipeg and loved them. They gave great support and lasted fine for me. Then I ran into a couple fellows who'd had really bad luck with them - but they were a foot taller than me and nearly double my weight - I'm 5'6" on a tall day and 150lbs.

I'm not sure about much anymore as I head into my 6th decade on the planet, you know?

I'll happily share what works for me and why I'm guessing it might work well for me, but again if something else works better for someone else then I'm honestly happy for them too, you know?

All the best.

Dwayne


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Originally Posted by Judman
Another really cool pattern, absolutely love the feel/design, never used it, bought it directly from gene, it’s a 1 of. H225 with armadilla scales…

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

That H225 is a sharp looking piece. My favorite by Gene is a H325 Westinghouse micarta in S30V. That would be the one I keep if I could only keep one.


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Originally Posted by sns2
So, my question is, is there anything about that semi-skinner style blade shape that is measurably better than any of the other blade styles below for looking after a downed animal from start to finish?

Sort of. The semi-skinner is a generalist applicable to a lot of tasks rather than a specialist that is ideal for one and sucks for the rest. Those bottom 2 pictures you posted .. I like those. Pretty sure I could get along with them nicely. What we should do, IMHO at least, is get a general purpose design created from good steel with a grip that fits our hand, sharpen the crap out of it, then get busy trying to wear it out. In other words, I think we should focus on developing our skills with a generalist knife instead of trying to compensate for the skills we don't have by throwing money into a special purpose knife for it.

I use all kinds of different shapes. Figure out how to grab whatever knife is handy and use it in a way that plays to its strengths and away from its weaknesses. The only thing y' gotta really do so far as selection is avoid the "stupid knives" .. movie props and the like .. that have no strengths, they're just knife-maker artwork, not practical / functional.


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No single blade can do it all. I typically carry three knives and switch between at least two when working up deer, elk, pronghorn etc. Slicing hide/meat is a totally different deal that trying to sever leg or spinal ligaments in tight quarters. It's much easier to take the head off a moose with a small pocket-knife that with a blunt Buck skinner. The one thing I can't tolerate is any knife or handle with perforations or attached clips that might hang up on bone spurs etc.

Last edited by 1minute; 07/29/22.

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Dwayne:

Your beautiful sheep horn handled knives remind me of traditional Canadian Belt Knives. Were those your inspiration?

I've never used one of them, but a couple of people on this forum think the world of them. For my part, the blade shape is my idea of skinning / meat slicing perfection, with just enough of a sharp pointed tip that getting into tight places while gutting would be very easy.

It seems that you've deepened the part where the handle meets the blade - I've always thought that with its narrow neck the CBK might easily twist in your hand when blood and fat ends up covering everything.


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[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

Last edited by rickmenefee; 08/09/22.



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I like me that short one. 👊🏻


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Some beautiful knives here guy's. Well I must admit that most of my work over the last 50 years have been done with Gerbers and buck knives. I just never used any of my custom knives for work knives. So I decided to get a dedicated custom knife made to use as my go to skinner for Deer and Hog's. Thought I would give a McCroskey a try. I'm gonna use it on some pigs at the lease in a couple weeks. I think it's work just fine.

[Linked Image]

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Originally Posted by rickmenefee
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I tear up a lot of stuff with an A-2 version of the big one.

I'm pretty sure the one pictured is the one Ricky made for me

Last edited by Dude270; 08/10/22.
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Let me first issue a disclaimer. I am in Texas and I hunt out of a camp. Typically, I do not field dress, rather bring back the animal, whole, hang and go to work. I do not have the occasion to skin elk, bear, moose, etc. I skin more hogs than anything else. So, the following thoughts may not be relevant to your situation. Next, my taste in knifes has evolved over the last ten years or so. I have been fortunate to be able to try quite a few different types and styles of knives, both production and custom.

2nd Disclaimer. I sold a bunch of my knives back in February of this year. IIRC, all of the knives pictured in this reply I still own. I have not asked permission of the new owners to show pix of their knives.


Finally, asking a knife-slut which style he prefers' is kinda like opening a Pandora's box, but.......

So many options from which to choose.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]



Production or custom?
Large or small?
Edge retention or ease of re-sharpening
Are you hunting out of a camp where weight and space are not a concern.
Simple hide removal or caping (no holes in skin).
Boner or Nessmuck or Hunter or Semi-Skinner blade.
One do it all or a combo pack?

A Nessmuk style knife works great in a skinning knife, but IMHO it does have minor limitations.
I like a knife with what I call “belly”. I do not push with a knife when skinning. Rather I pull or flex my wrist in a downward motion. If you think about it, there can be incremental differences between a semi-skinner and a Nessmuk style blade.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here are four that I collaborated with the maker during what I call my “nessmuk” period. The knife on the left is L6 steel, the other three are “Etched” A2 steel and do not show discoloration and staining like a polished blade of A2.

This may be drawing to fine a distinction, but to me the limitations of a Nessmuck style blade come when caping, taking out the backstraps and separating the ball joint socket on the hinds. I prefer the Semi-Skinner blade profile.........

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
My idea of perfection in a Semi-Skinner", Etched A2 Steel

or a Loveless drop point hunter style when including those two tasks, over the Semi-Skinner or Nessmuk.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Anywho, play with enough, and I'm willing to bet you'll find what you like!

ya!

GWB

Last edited by geedubya; 08/10/22.

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[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]This particular knife of yours is one of the most badass blades I’ve ever seen. I’ve liked it big time since I first saw it. A true Rick Menefee stunner, in every way…!


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Originally Posted by antlers
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]This particular knife of yours is one of the most badass blades I’ve ever seen. I’ve liked it big time since I first saw it. A true Rick Menefee stunner, in every way…!

Agreed, I’m gonna have him make me one. 👊🏻


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I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but I think the Crotts Semi Skinner in the original post is about as good as a hunting knife gets. I, like any other outdoor enthusiast, like knives. In particular, hunting knives. The problem is, that knife design in many many cases leave a lot to be desired. They look nice, but in use the shine wears off rather quickly.

A hunting knife really has four major functions. It needs to split well, it needs to skin, it needs to slice, and it needs a point for finer work. Caping comes to mind. We will not go into butchering or skinning a locker full of cows. Size of a hunting knife is a personal thing, but a 3-3.5” blade is plenty for most field work in a hunting knife.

Splitting is where most knives fall a bit short. A lot of hunting knives traditionally were clip points. They will have a tendency to dive and will soon fatigue your hand. Slice through your meat. Dull when diving into bone etc. Too much drop and your wrist will tire. Bob Loveless had to be considering splitting when he designed his Dropped Hunter and Semi Skinner.

When skinning you need enough belly sweep to work well. But in my mind, an excessively abrupt transition from belly to point also requires too much lift at the wrist. One aspect of the Dropped Hunter that I do not care for. It also “blunts” the point making it less than ideal for fine work. Keep in mind that I’m thinking of skinning game in the field on the ground. It’s hard enough kneeling or leaning over your work without having to fight your knife at unnatural angles.

Slicing requires a nice thin grind (I like mine hollow), enough flat length, and moderate upsweep to the belly of the blade. Fine work needs a “V” shaped steep angled tip.

So no, I don’t think there is much better than a Dan Crotts Semi Skinner. As another big proponent of this design says. There are a lot of knives that perform these individual functions well. I haven’t found one that does them better.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Originally Posted by Dude270
Originally Posted by rickmenefee
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I tear up a lot of stuff with an A-2 version of the big one.

I'm pretty sure the one pictured is the one Ricky made for me
I can’t remember who’s? One of you men ask me to remove 3/4 inch from the dumpling or boner. The short boner was born. Thank you to whoever! With either of those knives nothing is better in regards to best one knife tool. With full round 5.5 handle distal taper from both ends @.010.Meeting in the middle @ around .150 the knife will work for you while skinning. All things held in account 20+inch radius hollow grind that tapers from the bur to the spine is a must. As multi thermo cycles w/cryo. The icing on top would be a third temper cycle to relieve stress after the 400 grit grinding cycle. Which allows the tool to be stroped unless you get in hair or bone. All the consumer needs to learn is to skin from the inside out and he’s in business’s for life.

Point of interest
The sheath is as important as the tool. The “best” top grain leather thats been skived to proper thickness and firmness. Which the stitching lays below the surface. Kydex is wonderful stuff but scratches the [bleep] out of everything.

Rick menefee

Last edited by rickmenefee; 08/10/22.



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i wouldnt suggest splitting anything with that crotts knife....d2 is a little brittle compared to some and that blade is awful thin...dont ask me how i know

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Originally Posted by gene270
i wouldnt suggest splitting anything with that crotts knife....d2 is a little brittle compared to some and that blade is awful thin...dont ask me how i know

I’m talking about splitting hide. If you want to split bone carry an axe.

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Originally Posted by pathfinder76
Originally Posted by gene270
i wouldnt suggest splitting anything with that crotts knife....d2 is a little brittle compared to some and that blade is awful thin...dont ask me how i know

I’m talking about splitting hide. If you want to split bone carry an axe.


When I read it, I thought to myself “Surely he must use a saw!”

I knew you well enough to know that’s you weren’t ever gonna be doin that:)

Few years back, I forgot my saw back at the truck. I had just let the air out of a young bull moose’s lungs at less than 100 yards. Then watched as my 12 year old son, who was 100 yards on the other side of the moose, let go of one with his 7-08. Hit the dang thing an inch away from my hole, as the moose had spun around after I shot him, and was doing the death wobble. Kid thought old dad had missed, so I needed his help. And you know who was a couple hundreds yards further down? Bulletman from Alberta Outdoorsmen. He was 75 at the time. Anyhow, I forgot my saw, so ended up cutting the breastbone with the saw blade on a Leatherman Wave. LOL. It actually worked okay for what it was. Good thing it was a yearling.

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Either one of these seem to work quite well.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

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Originally Posted by rickmenefee
Originally Posted by Dude270
Originally Posted by rickmenefee
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]

I tear up a lot of stuff with an A-2 version of the big one.

I'm pretty sure the one pictured is the one Ricky made for me
I can’t remember who’s? One of you men ask me to remove 3/4 inch from the dumpling or boner. The short boner was born. Thank you to whoever! With either of those knives nothing is better in regards to best one knife tool. With full round 5.5 handle distal taper from both ends @.010.Meeting in the middle @ around .150 the knife will work for you while skinning. All things held in account 20+inch radius hollow grind that tapers from the bur to the spine is a must. As multi thermo cycles w/cryo. The icing on top would be a third temper cycle to relieve stress after the 400 grit grinding cycle. Which allows the tool to be stroped unless you get in hair or bone. All the consumer needs to learn is to skin from the inside out and he’s in business’s for life.
Point of interest
The sheath is as important as the tool. The “best” top grain leather thats been skived to proper thickness and firmness. Which the stitching lays below the surface. Kydex is wonderful stuff but scratches the [bleep] out of everything.

Rick menefee


The thanks go to you, Rick. The Small Boner (we call it the Humping Dumpling from humping it up all those mountain ranges) has exceeded all expectations. Bezoar Ibex, Hybrid Ibex and Anatolian Chamois in Turkey. Alpine and Pyrenees Chamois in France. That's apart form two years of Red Deer culls at home in Scotland. Headed to Spain next year to finish off this Slam thing with 3 more Ibex.

Original thread: Menefee Humping Dumpling Thread

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